Spotlight on: Plastic Barricades [interview] – New Album “Self-Theories” Out Now!

This week we chatted with Elina and Dan of Plastic Barricades about a lot of our favorite topics at Concert Archives like first/favorite concerts, bucket lists, etc. Plastic Barricades released their newest album “Self-Theories” last month.

Plastic Barricades band promo pic

Past Plastic Barricades Shows

Backstage Pass: What’s the first concert you went to?

Elina: The best gigs are the ones when I have a camera with me. In summer 2005 I went to a small club and shot my first professional set as a press photographer for a daily newspaper. It was dark in the venue, only two lights were strobing in blinding red and white, terrible conditions for photography for a rookie. I was anxious to make my new camera do what I wanted. The White Stripes, a future cult band, played “Blue Orchid,” but I could barely hear them – I was too focused on the visuals. Very happy I got to see them live, Jack White has amazing energy!

BP: What’s the first show you ever played? First show with Plastic Barricades?

Dan: The first shows with my first ever band were obviously at school – where else? I remember our English teacher being both embarrassed for our punk-rock inspired lyrics and proud of my poetic skills. And the music teacher was nowhere to be seen – I think she was sick from all the noises. The first Plastic Barricades gig was a single launch back in snowy Tallinn in March of 2008. Feels like a proper lifetime ago now.

BP: Any favorite stories from gigs over the years?

Elina: Going touring with Plastic Barricades! Not only gigs but a whole range of adventures before and after. Once we went to a safari park where a monkey stole the wiper from our car. Another time we got soaking wet with torrential rain right before the soundcheck and I was drying our shoes under the bathroom hand dryer. We chased ghosts in a weird Victorian hotel and talked to a parrot that replied in cat meows. We saw King Arthur’s round table and climbed the abandoned ruins. We also saw brilliant bands that played gigs with us, and made friends on the way.

BP: Favorite show you’ve been to?

Elina: Oh, I miss gigs so much… Recently, my favourite ones were the Foo Fighters in Riga and Death Cab for Cutie in London. Foo Fighters was an absolutely epic open-air summer gig, a nearly religious experience singing songs, losing my voice, jumping so hard I tore a hole in my jeans. Fireworks in my soul. Death Cab for Cutie was as good but different – the crowd that looks like me, deep lyrics, intimate venue, a tangible atmosphere of kindness. I felt enlightened for weeks.

BP: First “big” tour or show?

Dan: Touring UK for the first time back in 2014 felt very special. We got to see so many different places and meet a lot of awesome people and bands, many of them are still in touch via social media. There is definitely something very rewarding about packing the car with amps and drums and guitars, then driving for 4 hours to a city you’ve never been before and making loud noises till wee hours. 

Current/Upcoming Plastic Barricades Shows

BP: Have you done any live streams yet during quarantine, or plan to?

Dan: I am asked this a lot this year. As soon as the quarantine hit everyone started streaming. Every day. A lot. My first reaction was to refrain from adding to the ocean. But if this absence of gigs spills into 2021 (and it most certainly will) we might need to start gigging online just for the sake of not turning into total unsaveable hermits.

BP: How have you been passing the time at home?

Elina: Staying optimistic and keeping up with creative work. We’re trying not to give in to the anxieties and we’re streaming all that energy into art. During the lockdown, we felt the need to transform random ideas into real tangible things & the first Optimist Collective t-shirt line became reality. Lots of our designs are inspired by music and arts, but we are also excited by the Zeitgeist series, where we channel our hopes, dreams and worries of the weird and wonderful life that is 2020 and beyond.

Though when we don’t work, we cosy-up under the blanket, watch movies & documentaries, play co-op games and flip pages for the Goodreads reading challenge.  

BP: Favorite song to play live?

Dan: This is easy – the one that we haven’t played live before ☺ I like songs with surprises and unexpected pauses and loud/quiet stuff, so those always go well. I like when the audience keeps raising their eye-brows, I can see those from miles away.

BP: Favorite venue to play?

Dan: Surprisingly similar answer here – the one we’ve haven’t played before. I know it might sound cheesy, but gigging and touring is all about the next adventure for me!

BP: 2020 hasn’t been great for shows. Do you have any exciting plans for when it is safe to tour again?

Dan: We’ve just released our new album “Self-Theories” and it does feel quite weird to not have any tours in support of the record. We are hoping to be back on the road and making obnoxious noises in a village near you in the glorious year of 2021.

Bucket List/Fun questions

BP: If you could tour with any band, who would you love to tour with?

Dan: Here’s two perfect tour line-ups that both should include Plastic Barricades. First one will be Death Cab for Cutie and The Shins and the second one is Foo Fighters and Biffy Clyro! What an awesome tour would that be!

BP: Any festivals/venues on your bucket list to play?

Dan: Well, at this point in time, when 2020 has deprived us of any live shows, I would say any venue or festival would do just fine. But as a UK band, we obviously just cannot stop dreaming of Glastonbury.

BP: Favorite snack/meal when on the road?

Elina: Mine would be a pack of grapes, a bowl of poke, gummy bears & a tumbler of coffee. Proper meal-times on tour can often be chaotic. We’ve now learned the service station shops so well, that we can have a Formula 1-worthy lightning-fast pit-stop. Grab & go to beat the traffic.

Dan: On tour I always have strange cravings for Cornish pasties and energy drinks, but I try to eat healthy where possible – that definitely helps deliver a decent show in the evening. 

Thank you to Dan and Elina for taking the time to chat with us! Be sure to follow the band on Facebook, and Instagram for updates, and listen to Plastic Barricades wherever you like to get your tunes!

Are you in a band? Visit our ‘Contact Us‘ page to find out how to send us your tunes and be considered for an interview!

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